Can ‘super-sub’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer save Cardiff?

The 40-year-old left Molde in Norway to take over on a rolling contract at the Welsh club.

Written by Associated Press | Cardiff | Published: January 3, 2014 2:39 am

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned to the Premier League on Thursday when he was hired as manager of struggling Cardiff.

The 40-year-old Solskjaer left Molde in Norway to take over on a rolling contract at the Welsh club,which is 17th in the 20-team Premier League — a point and a place above the relegation zone.

“I felt I needed to be back here,” Solskjaer said of his return to British football,where he spent 11 years with United and scored the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern. “And I want to stay for the long,long term.

“I wish I was 25 again and playing in the Premier League,” he added. “Time ticks for everyone so I can’t,now I’m lucky to be a manager in the Premier League.”

Solskjaer replaced Malky Mackay,who was fired last week after losing a power struggle with the Welsh club’s Malaysian owner,Vincent Tan.

Solskjaer said he spoke to Alex Ferguson,his former manager at United,about taking over at Cardiff and described reports that Ferguson told him to reject the job because of Tan’s interference as “absolute nonsense”.

“He has wished me the best and given me some good advice as he always does,” Solskjaer said of Ferguson.

Regarded as a so-called “super-sub” for his goalscoring turns off the bench and nicknamed by some as the “Baby-faced Assassin,” Solskjaer was a lethal,predatory finisher for United from 1996-2007.

He retired in 2007 after failing to recover from a serious knee injury,but remained at United in a coaching and ambassadorial role and went on to become the club’s reserve-team manager. He coached Molde from 2011,winning back-to-back titles in his first two seasons and the Norwegian Cup in his third.

His first match is against Newcastle United in the third round of the FA Cup.

Resurgent Raptors rout Pacers

Associated Press

TORONTO,january 2

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and Kyle Lowry had 13 points and a season-high 14 assists as the resurgent Toronto Raptors extended their season-best winning streak to four games by beating the Indiana Pacers 95-82 in the NBA on Wednesday.

Terrence Ross scored 18 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and nine rebounds as the Raptors (15-15) ended Indiana’s five-game winning streak and improved their record to .500 after 30 games for the first time since Jan. 6,2010.

The Raptors have won eight of 10 games since Dec. 13,when the majority of the players acquired from Sacramento in the Rudy Gay trade made their Toronto debuts. Roy Hibbert fouled out with 16 points and Paul George had 12 for the Pacers,who recorded a season-worst 23 turnovers. Indiana had won nine of its previous 12 meetings with Toronto,including four straight in Canada.

In other games Wednesday,the Los Angeles Clippers handed the Charlotte Bobcats their 17th straight road loss against Western Conference opponents in a 112-85 rout,the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the slumping Denver Nuggets 114-102,the Dallas Mavericks held off the Washington Wizards 87-78 and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Pelicans 124-112.

Blake Griffin scored 13 of his 31 points in the final 7:05 and Jared Dudley got 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter for the Pacific Division-leading Clippers. Dudley faced his second former team in two games,making seven of 10 shots. He had nine points against the Suns on Monday in the Clippers’ 107-88 loss.

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